The Housing Authority of the County of Kern improves the quality of life of thousands of low income residents, the homeless, veterans, seniors, emancipated foster youth & the disabled. But the Housing Authority goes far beyond housing people. The Housing Authority through its Resident Initiatives office, provides an array of resident services to promote self-sufficiency & youth success.
We are serious about creating opportunities for our youth that we even took them to Camp KEEP! Thanks to the Chevron S.T.E.M. (Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics) program funding, we were able to take 20 students who live in our Low Income Public Housing (LIPH) & tax credit sites to Camp KEEP Ocean from July 17 - 20. This was a reward for the active & involved students who participated in the S.T.E.M. program throughout the year. Often times, the youth from our housing sites don’t have the opportunities others have such as going to a theme park, the beach, or Camp KEEP.
For most of the students, it was their first time attending any Camp KEEP & it was an experience of a lifetime. Each day the students were broken up into 2 different groups to go on hikes; some hikes were as long as 4 miles. During this trip, the kids also had a beach day in Morro Bay & it was the first time half of these students had ever been to the beach. We are thankful for Chevron’s support as it allowed us to provide a fun & educational experience for our youth by taking them to Camp KEEP.
Camp K.E.E.P. looks forward to our group of students because it is a chance for the staff to work closer with them. They also like that it’s most of our students first time attending Camp K.E.E.P. Since it is a much smaller group than the 120 students they are used to, they can work one on one with the students and learn from them.
One K.E.E.P staff member told HACK Staff that one student made his week when she made it to the top of the 4-mile hike because her smile showed her accomplishment of doing something that seemed hard for her in the beginning. The student looked proud of herself. HACK staff asked this student what her favorite thing about the trip was and she said it was the 4-mile hike because she liked being on top of the mountain.
In anticipation of the first day of school the Housing Authority of Kern County partnered with Dignity Health and Walmart store #1624 to make sure our kids were prepared. Thanks to a generous donation from Dignity Health and Walmart store #1624 we were able to provide 99 backpacks to children living in our Arvin, Bakersfield, Delano, Shafter and Lamont housing sites and those in the Section 8 program.